Homeland Security Secretary Testifies on FY 2018 Budget CSPAN May 27, 2017 5:30am-7:00am EDT
minutes. ail right. today's hearing is called to order. welcome to the subcommittee's first hearing on the department of homeland securities fiscal year 2018 presidential budget request. i'd like to extend a special welcome to today's witness secretary john kelly. mr. secretary, we are very pleased you answered the president's call to lead dhs. having someone with your credentials to lead this demt will strengthen it and enrich it. it's good to begin the fy '18 appropriation cycle despite its late start i'm confident this subcommittee will produce a bill that supports the department's mission, balances competing
interests, and is affordable to the american taxpayers. before i dive into the numbers, mr. secretary, i have a couple pieces of advice. first, never loose focus on the department's highest priority to keep the nation safe and enforce the laws of the united states. with your reputation, i know you will do that. second, stay in touch with me, with mrs. roybal-allard and let us know when you need help. everyone on this subcommittee wants dhs to be successful meeting its physician u mission, besides failure is absolutely unacceptable. i know i speak for everyone when i promise we will always listen respectfully to your suggestions and advice and we will be reasonable and even handed in our responses. i, for one, am grateful the president directed you and the men and women of the dhs to focus on the department's law enforcement missions. i'm frooe tremendously pleased
cash and release is a relic of the past and, as a result, illegal crossings on the border are 60% lower -- 64% lower than in april the same time last year. this is proof that the threat of enforcing the nation's immigration laws is a forceful deterrent. i'm also satisfied with the $1.5 billion border security package included in the fy '17 omnibus bill. simply enacting legislation that supports enmanced border security and i tier yore enforcement sends a powerful message to human traffickers and drug runners that business as usual on the border is over. if you break our nation's laws and cross the border illegally, you will suffer the consequences which is a guaranteed stay in detention. fy '18 requests continue, the fy '18 requests to continue the administration's emphasis on law
enforcement and that's important. the total discretionary funds requested is 44.06 billion, which is increased 1.66 billion over last year. items i'm pleased to see you included are the 2.6 billion for border security which includes 74 miles of physical barriers along the southwest borderer and significant surveillance and technology and aviation system. $4.9 billion for removal bragss inclusing 3.6 billion of the 51,379 detention beds, increase of 12,055 above the numbers provided in fiscal year 2017, as well as additional funding necessary to actively enforce the nation's immigration laws. substantial increases are
proposed for additional law enforcement agents at border patrol and immigration customs enforcement. though i support this initiative, this subcommittee will take a hard look at whether it will succeed. as i'm sure you know, attrition in both organizations has outpassed, outspaced hiring in the last two years despite congressional increases for incentive programs. i'm not inclined to leave money on the table if dhs is unable to meet these high-end goals. for the first time in many years, the united states secret service requests meets their requirements. i have concerns too. the cyber threat to the nation's network and critical infrastructure grows daily, yet the budget for cybersecurity has not increased at all from your current level of funding. while there's funding for border security, there should also be
corresponding increase for our ports of entry where the majority of all innocence, drugs and currencient our country. physical barriers may stop human trafficking but our only one means of increasing illegal drugs and currency. splashing funds from fema critical grants and training programs by $918 million is worse and shortsighted, especially for cities where they are targets of terrorism. likewise, i'm surprise and disappointed that the administration chose to perpetuate the last administration's bad habit of proposing fees to increase for tsa and using it as an offset despite knowing increase is unlikely to become law because there's no authorization for that. while balancing all the competing priorities of dhs is
an understandable challenge, our main concern about reliance on budget gimmicks and to cut important national security programs. i hope fy '19 request will focus on the nation's homeland security priorities and not rely on offsets that this subcommittee doesn't control. in conclusion, i want to restate my commitment to work with you and i also want to take a moment to commend the budget offices in every -- of every dhs component and at dhs headquarters. executing under a cr, proposing and advocating for a budget amendment, and developing a new budget request over a two-month period is a monumental undertaking. they deserve our thanks. >> i want you to know that i'm blessed to have lucille roybal-allard as my ranking member. she and i don't always agree 100% on policy but our balance
and thoughtful approach engenders collaboration which means a better bill for the men and women of dhs. for that, i want to thank her and recognize her for any remarks she wishes to make. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good afternoon, mr. secretary, and welcome to your first appearance before this subcommittee. there's no doubt that you have a really hard job and, in my opinion, among the hardest in government. the department is still quite young and still maturing in institutional terms and it has a large and diverse set of components and missions. some of those missions, as you well know, are extremely controversial. we will disagree about some policies and priorities as we did with your predecessor, in some cases we'll strongly disagree. we do, however, share the common goal of protecting our country and its values. my hope is that we will have the same constructive working relationship with you that we
had with secretary johnson. the members of the subcommittee have the common goal of appropriately resourcing the department to protect and to serve our country. this includes supporting the men and women who make up your department, the vast majority of whom are fully dedicated to their work and are performing admirably. immigration enforcement will be the biggest challenge that we will face in working together. i hope you understand that, in my view, the crux of this issue is not simply a matter of enforcing the law or not, it is a manner in which that enforcement is done. it is also a question of the incremental benefit to the nation of significant new investments in border security and immigration enforcement actions and capabilities. each additional segment of physical barrier at the border and each initiative to hire more immigration enforcement officers
comes potentially at the expense of things like state and local preparedness, cybersecurity, investments in the coast guard fleet, and a multitude of other priorities outside of our bill. so it isn't enough to simply ask whether an investment would improve homeland security, we must also ask what the incremental benefit is, what the down sooitds a sides are and wh tradeoffs are. we are out of step on the ground in this country. on your watch i know you see an aggressive posture as faithfully carrying out the laws currently on the books, but do you have discretion. and right now that suggests enforcement is upending the lives of millions of people, the vast majority of whom are valuable, contributing members of their communities. the vast majority of whom are guilty of no criminal acts. the vast majority of whom have
been in this country for many years working jobs that others are unwilling to do. for example, i've had from growers from california, representatives from the hotel and restaurant industry tell me and other members of congress the devastating economic impact current enforcement policies will have and in some cases are already having on our state and national economy. these consequences are also a threat to national security. the ultimate answer is for congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform that lays out a path to legal status and eventually if one meets all the criteria for eligibility, citizenship. many of us desperately want that to happen. while it is up to congress to pass reform legislation, you, as secretary of homeland security, could play an important role in helping that to come about.
i also want to encourage you to continue an effort that was begun by your predecessor that is very important to this subcommittee. secretary johnson made a high priority of maturing the department's plan, budgeting, and acquisition processes, including working with us to establish a common appropriation structure. i hope that you will capitalize on his accomplishments by also making it your priority to further improve and institutional lies those processes. we have a lot to discuss this afternoon and i look forward to your testimony and your responses to our questions. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, ms. roybal-allard. i know recognize rodney free hinge high sen, the chairman of the full committee. >> thank you. >> i also want to welcome the secretary here to the proegss committee. we look ford to your testimony and hearing your frank and
candid views on in r many issues. all of us up here thank you for your remarkable service as a brain over 45 years and now as secretary of the homeland security, we appreciate all that you have done for our nation. today's hearing is an important part of the oversight duties of this committee now that we have formally rereceived the administration's budget request, the committee will undertake a thorough analysis of it. we will go through 50e67 e each and every budget line, question every witness, and demand credible spending justifications and only then we will make our own determinations on the best use of tax dollars. we intend to put forward a complete set of appropriations bills that adequately fund important programs while working to reduce and eliminate waste and duplication. i'll work with the ranking member lowey and chairman carter and ms. roybal-allard to move rapidly in the coming weeks and months to complete the fiscal
year 2018 appropriation's bills. again, today's hearing is part of a process we follow to determine the best use of taxpayer's dollars. after all, the power of the purse lies in this building. it is the constitutional duty of congress to make spending decisions on behalf of the people we represent at home. some here on the committee may know that hundreds of families, almost 700 in new jersey and in my congressional district lost loved ones on september length in those terrorists attack. although it tookz years for the nation to recover, the events of that day made us rethink how we protect the nation and allowed us to learn from prior mistakes in order to prepare for and stop the next attack. mr. secretary, i wholeheartedly agree with your recent assessment that the risk afr terror attack on these united states, in your own words, is as threatening today as it was on that fateful day in september,
in 2001. and unfortunately, this week we witnessed another horrific attack on our british allies and we extend our greatest sympathy to these young victims and their families. that is why we must be certain to continue to invest in critical programs like the federal emergency management agency's urban area security ni initiatives that ensure our communities which face the greatest risk are able to respond so ever growing and more complex threats. the fiscal year 2018 budget request propose a 25% cut to what we call uwasi and i'm eager to here how your department will continue to ensure the necessary resilience while absorbing such a large deduction. in large of the recent spike of anti-semitic crimes which were directed at hundred of jewish schools and synagogues and terms
of and community centers in the united states including those in my direstrict, we must continue ton grant funding to this program which provides at-risk nonprofit institutions of all faiths, critical assistance to bolster their physical security. and lastly i'd like to give a shout out to one of your most important urban search and rescue teams, including new jersey's task force one which became a federally designated team this time last year. new jersey task force one which was the first team to respond to the tragedy at the world trade center on 9/11 was activated and responded to -- also to hurricane matthew in october. these teams are essential to the entire nation. in conclusion i welcome you and i thank the chairman for the time and yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i now recognize ms. lowey,
the ranking member of the full committee. >> thank you. and i'd like to thank chairman carter and ranking member roybal-allard for holding this hearing. and, of course, it's always a pleasure for me to appear with chairman frelinghuysen who say distinguished chair of the full committee. secretary kelly, welcome and thank you for joining us. the department of homeland security's mission is to secure our nation from consistent threat. it's not an easy one. it is underscored by the tragic attack in manchester earlier this week. to keep us safe, different agencies within the department of homeland security must effectively coordinate and cooperate while also working closely with other federal, state, and local agencies. the budget request, unfortunately, does not fully reflect the grave character of
the threats we face. in new york and many other states, preparedness grants are the difference between being able to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism or not. secretary kelly, put simply, your budget proposal would make communities like those in my district and region less safe. the state homeland security grant program which enhances local law enforcement's ability to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism would be reduced by 118 million or over 25%, reduced at this time of the absolute need for response as quickly as possible. that results in a nearly 20
million reduction for my home state of new york alone. the urban area security initiative which, as you know, assists high-threat, high-density urban areas arguably the most vulnerable would be cut by 26% or $156 million. that is a nearly $45 million cut for new york. maybe the people who put this budget together are not really watching the news that we all were watching just this week. the emergency food and shelter program is eliminated as is the flood hazard mapping and risk analysis program. state and local jurisdictions cannot effectively plan for the worst when support from their federal partner is inconsistent
or insufficient. in addition to terror threats were , we know that the severity and cost of natural disafter theers are increasing and mitigation efforts can reduce taxpayer support in response to a disaster. we cannot expect communities to realistically prepare for natural disasters with proposed cuts of 55 million to the predisaster mitigation program. as i said, while negotiating the fq 17 omnibus, i cannot support a single cent, let alone 1.6 billion for a boondoggle of a wall. it's an unjustified request based on a campaign promise and simply cannot be taken seriously by this committee. president trump's budget
requests/slashing $54 billion from nondefense investment would decimate the department of homeland security. in fact, even existing sequestration level caps are insufficient and would lead to reduced services that american families and communities need. including law enforcement and first responders. it's time, mr. secretary, for a new budget deal to end sequestration once and for all in part to prevent disastrous cuts to critical homeland security grant programs. now more than ever this committee must support the department's essential and complex mission but we cannot do that at the expense of state and local preparedness. so i look forward to a
productive discussion today and i thank you for your service to our country. >> thank you, ms. lowey. we're going to stick to a five-minute rule. we'll probably try to warn you when you've got one minute left but keep an eye on the count. mr. secretary, we're going to allow to you make your opening statement now. your statement will be entered into the record so you can make it shorter and easier on us. >> well, mr. chairman, ranking member row balance allard and distinguished members of the subcommittee, it really is a privilege to be here. i know you feel the same way i do that our government has no greater responsibility than the safety and security of its citizens. to secure homeland one is of prosperity where legal trade and travel add to our national economy. a secure homeland is one from american citizens can go about
their lives without fear and a security homeland is one of laws which we use enforce to keep our communities safe. so it's with great honor and privilege to appear before you today to discuss the member and web of the department of homeland security and the critical missions they carry on every day in service to this nation. i believe the president's fiscal year 2018 budget request for homeland security will make it possible for us to continue and expand on our ability to protect the nation and its people. we know that threats are out there. we know that our passenger aviation as an example, our top prize in the eyes of terrorist organizations around the globe. we know that transnational criminal organizations are bringing drugs across our boarders both on land and sea in massive numbers at a devastating rate. we know that our nation's cyber smds are under constant attack. we know that natural disasters devastate american home towns. we also know that dhhs is up to
the job of protecting the united states in all of these threats and many, many more. just last week the coast guard offloaded mo n more than 18 tons of cocaine they seized off the pacific ocean. that'ses the waitd of nine cars and certainly at least as estimated $498 million worth of drugs but more importantly, drugs that won't serve to poison our sit zones. this week, on may 8th and 14th tsa discovered between may 8th and 14th discovered 76 firearms in carryon luggage. in six weeks ice arrested more than a thousand gang members in a nationwide multilaw enforcement, gang enforcement operation. the men and women of dhs are making a difference. they are making our nation more secure. but we need a budget that matches our mission, no more continuing resolutions, we have to be able to plan. and i think this budget does that. the president's fy 2018 budget
requests 44.1 billion in nondiscretionary funding for the homeland security department, it also requests 7.4 billion to finance the costs of emergencies and major disafter theers and fema's disaster relief fund. when you're talking about numbers like these, it's easy to lose sight of what's behind each dollar. when you get right down to it behind each and every dollar are hardworking men and women who dedicated their lives to protecting the american people. by enforcing the laws that you have passed. they're taking dangerous criminals off our streets, keeping terrorists out of the country and drugs off of our street. they're investigating crimes with international implications. they are making sure passengers get to their destinations safely. they are responding to devastated communities in the wake of natural disasters. and they are patrolling and maintaining our nation's waterways, waterways that support $4.5 trillion in economic activity every year. every dollar invest nltd men and
wechb dhs and dollars invested in the tools equipment and training they need to get the job done is an investment in prosperity, freedom, and the rule of law. it's an investment in the security of the american people. there's no greater responsibility and a time of no greater need than now. i would be remiss if i did not mention the terrorist attack many manchester on monday as some of you have. our friends in the uk suffered a terrible loss this week with 22 dead and dozens others wounded. our thoughts and prayers were them. u.s. government is actively working, as could imagine, with the british, fbi, the intelligence community, dhs and others to assist their investigation in any way that we can. their enemy is our enemy. he is evolving, becoming more reprehensible, even targeting children. he is much more sophisticated, adaptive, he's global. and you can bet that your dhs is
working every day to meet these threats. i appreciate the opportunity to appear here today, particularly as i can speak about the great men and women of dhs, the foot soldiers who protect us in the home fight. i thank you for your continued support of dhs. i remain continued -- committed rather to working with congress and protecting the american people. i look forward to answer your questions, sir, ma'am. >> well, thank you, secretary kelly. we appreciate you being here. mr. secretary, you're one of the longest serving cabinet members in this administration, having been confirmed on the job on january 20th. since you've been at dhs, have you identified some strategic impairtives and what would you like to change? >> a great question, sir. one of the things i think that came to me right away when i took the organization, again, i
can't speak enough about the men and women of dhs. they're the most criticized, maligned organization group of people in federal government and i have found them to be honorable men and women who take their job seriously. so that's one discovery. another discovery is that there's an all of lot, subpoena n spite of the fact that the homeland security say very desperate organization, jay johnson started this unity effort thing i think it makes a lot of sense. my number two and i might be the only one with a number two in the federal government right in our, elaine duke who was confirmed a couple weeks ago and is on the job. among other rocks that were put in her pack is how do we take what jay johnson put in place, unity effort initiative and really accelerate that and find places to -- where makes sense to find efficiencies and to try to get everyone kind of in the tent. i was shocked to find that throughout the agency there are
a number of pay and benefits schemes that people in the secret service don't get the same -- are not on the same pay scale as the people in ina and the people that are in ice don't stand in the same way from a pay and ben fits point of view as does say cvp. those acquisition. i found that we had two parts of the organization going through the process of researching and developing, acquiring the same piece of equipment, you know, this is something that dod mostly, almost entirely because the united states congress in 1985 they solved that what we called nichols kind of thing. it does work so i'm looking for those kind of things to increase the efficiency of the department. but there's other aspects that i've learned to say the least. that's the highly politicized nature of what i do, of what the
men and women of this department do, and also press reporting. now, that said, in defense of the press and others, i don't think we had a particularly good approach to interacting with the press and frankly with the hill. we have put first-class people in my liaison section in dhs and in the public affairs secretaries. we're leaning forward to -- as fast as possible serve the needs of the united states congress certainly quicker than it was done before. i remember during the process of being confirmed almost every member i talked to said you held the worst in the federal government for responding to letters or requests or whatever, and that's unacceptable and we're changing that. and the same thing with the media. we didn't have a very good outreach to explain what we're doing, what the media does with that information of course support to them. but those are the kind of things, mr. chairman, that found early on and doing the best i
can to address. >> have been concerned about and we are, i think, pretty much in agreement that all those things need to be fixed. so congratulations you got a good eye. mr. secretary, the fy '18 budget proposes $49 billion for enforcement removal pragz including 3.6 billion for 51,379 tension bands and custody operations an increase of 1,000,012,000 fieft u 55 number of the pension beds. the off rage daily population of detainees has been steadily dropping since the president signed the executive order improving border security and strengthening enforcement of immigration laws. what method and policies is dhs proposing to put in place to
achieve such dramatic uptick in detention capacity on the current trend for adult detention has been slowly but steadily decreasing over sefverl months. please explain the assumptions used and whether they're still valid. well, that's enough. >> mr. chairman, up front i think the actions that are being taken both on the border and in the interior will ultimately result in a pretty -- pretty quick drop of the number of beds that we ultimately need. but let me deal with the border first. >> i mean i think you mention today in your comments, somewhere in very close to 70% drop in the number of illegal -- of all illegal migrants of all types moving up through that terribly dangerous network through mexico. and not just central americans, but primarily central americans
have been the travelers on that network. but individuals from all over the world as far away as somalia, pakistan, north korea. so because of what they -- they don't understand, and this is a good thing, what's going on right now in terms of the enforcement and what we're doing on the border. that's caused them to delay their departure, if you will. by the way, working closely with the central american countries, with the mexican government of which i have a very, very close relationship, telling them what we're doing, working with them to try to convince their citizens to not pay huge amount of money to them to get on that network which, again, is very, very, very dangerous and abusive to stay at home. and at the same time working in another vector to, and again not really knob my job but we put some energy behind this and that is to help develop economically
the central american republic with whom we have great relationships. so that's what we're doing on the border. that has -- and messaging. that has resulted in a 70% reduction of the movement of migrants. there's a lot of good news there, but, to me, i think the first thing i think about, again, are the number of people that are not on that horrible network being abused, killed in some cases, all the way up the fi 1500 miles or so into the united states. again i can't emphasize enough the close relationship we have, working relationships at every level with the mexico cans not to mention the central american countries. interior enforcement is something, and again i've only been in this job four months, but interior enforcement, that is to say developing target packages by ice, working often times with local law enforcement to go after specific ideally,
ideally specific illegal aliens inside the united states that are also criminals. developing those packages there's no sweeps, there's no droppins to churches, we don't do that, or medical facilities or schools. but the interior enforcement to ideally go after criminals who are also illegal and put them into the system if they're not already in the system and frequently they are and they've just dropped out of the system. and we need a place to hold them so the interior enforcement has gone up. and, but ideally, in my mind, over time we will not need nearly as many -- as many beds because the legal justice process that's also in place, much of it belongs of course to the department of justice, the legal justice process of immigration courts and that kind of thing will return people to their countries of origin much, much faster than it does today. i mean, the real sticking point right now in what we're doing is
doj and attorney general sessions and his staff are working hard at hiring more judges so we can process people through and ultimately the number of beds we'll needle go down, i think, pretty steeply. >> thank you. ms. roybal-allard. >> mr. secretary, it is sometimes forgotten that ice detention is, in fact, civil detention and not criminal detention and therefore should not be used as a punishment -- as punishment or as a deterrent. in fact, the d.c. district court imposed a preliminary injunction in 2014 preventing the demt from using deterrence as a factor in the context of family detention it mention this because you indicated a few months ago that you were considering a policy of separating children and parents who were apprehend after crossing the border as a way of deterring future migration. i believe you subsequently indicated that you will not
institute such a policy, but i wajted to ask you more broadly about deterrence as a factor in detention. do you believe that deterrence is a permissible consideration when making custody decisions and does ice currently have any formal or informal policies that it be considered. >> the courts have told me i can't do it so that's where i am on this topic. the people that we are -- put into detention are people who we either consider to be a flight risk, which many are, or a danger to society. so those are the two general categories. there's many, many people that ice takes into -- into custody that are then not put into detention but given, you know, we put them in monitoring, sometimes we put ankle bracelets on them, that kind of thing. so the ones that go into detention, again, are dangerous
folks, men and women, or they are a flight risk. which unfortunately many of them are, as i think the ranking member knows that there's an awful lot of people that just disappear that come into the country illegally that disappear into our see the. we don't know where they are. most of them, as you say, as you pointed out and i think ms. lowey did as well, they stay under the radar but they don't commit crimes and those ultimately are not the people that we look for. but for those two factors is why we need the beds and why detention is an option for us. >> most ice detainees are housed in dedicated facilities but a substantial number are confined in the same facilities as those charged with criminal acts. ice detainees should not be treated like criminals or suspected criminals so this underscores the need for strong civil confinement standards. and i was alarmed to see that in your budget request you intend ton weaken ice detention
standards in order to attract more local jurisdictions as detention providers. is the impetus for weakening standard the need for more detention space to implement the president's executive order on immigration enforcement? >> first of all, as i have learned and as kind of a side comment, i was asked by jay johnson long before i ever knew ways going to be sitting in this seat to participate in a study of ice facilities nationwide. >> i did that and was a member of that facility, i was in all of the discussions, went on trips with them. but i had to drop off because when i was -- soon as i was named to this -- to this job i dropped off of that. but the point is, i know a fair amount about the conditions and the not only the concerns, not only what the private and law enforcement people say about detention facilities that ice runs, but also what the gender
groups and the advocacy groups talk about so i've got a sense on both sides of that. that's very helpful for me to understand the issue. but the point is what i've learned is the ice detention standards are well beyond the standards that even the federal bureau of prisons has in terms of prisoner or detainee in this case, housing and care. as we seek to enter into, if you will, rental agreements with local law enforcement or counties to have access to their beds for generally short periods of time, in order to do that we have -- we're looking at lowering our standards so that we can enter into agreements, but still those -- the agreements, the detention conditions of detention will be much higher than what is accepted -- what is accepted able in either the federal
renewing contracts that do not, i adherence to the most recent detention standards. in addition, it requires a report on the department's plans to bring all detention facilities under the newest standards. in anticipation of that reporting requirement and directive from congress, does ice still plan to pursue a lacks set of standards for local and county jails and what, the challenges and obstacles that you see in moving more facilities under the 2011 detention standards and should we be relying lesson local and county facilities if they're unable to commit to standards that are appropriate for ice detainees? that's a long list time sorry. >> it is. lowering the standard does not result in in way, shape, or form detainees being in any way ib humanely treated.
but it does give us access to some of the state and local jails. we -- our preference is to put detainees into our -- our ice facilities and generally speaking, the way they operate, they stay -- ice operates, they stay in those facilities for minimum periods of time. often times it's just so they go through the relatively short process until we decide what to do -- they decide what do with them. so, again, i go back to it gives us some flexibility, the standards will not be anything approaching anything approaching inhumane or with no dignity. and we will obviously report to the congress and if -- probably is worthwhile to offer right now a brief from ice, maybe a member brief or even recommend a hearing and they can come up and talk about those ningz in detail. >> okay. my time support. i have some follow-up questions but mr. chairman thank you for
the generosity of my time. >> and i need continue to form the committee it looks like your time remaining clocks are not working, at least mine's not. so we're keeping time over here, we'll try to -- we'll try to yent gently inform you that your time is running out. i'll just maybe -- >> i'm sitting between two texans, that's probably a pretty good place to be. the term resil ant, i sort of mentioned earlier that the whole issue of, you know, equipment and training. you have an amazing number of organizations under your umbrella. have you done an evaluation as to how resilient they are when it comes to cyber attacks? do you have a system which is graded those under your -- under your purview? we had, of course, as you're aware the most cyberattack
perhaps the world has ever seen just within recent weeks. have you done -- do you have a constant review of the many systems under your purview? >> the answer to that, the very short answer is yes. and since you bring it up, the reason, i mean, this was a joint effort, but on the morning that that ransom attack started, i would say dhs was among the very first people which is our job, to recognize that it started. and as it grew, and it grew fast, dhs, with other aspects of the u.s. government, but dhs has the lead in terms of definiting our.goff nets and has prix tremendous partnerships with all of u.s. industry, whether financial -- everybody that wants ton play, and a lot of
them do play. so when that ransomware attack started, i would have to tell you we went to the situation room, we had some immediate meetings t meetings on it, i was proud that everyone, whether it was nsa, fbi, everybody was deferring at all times to my command center that deals 24/7 watching the nets within -- within cyber defenses. and i was incredibly proud to have them all deferring to dhs. so as we saw that runaway event that ultimately infected huge numbers of systems and computers in europe and middle east, i mean, everywhere, asia, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of contaminated systems and individual
computers. and because of the inner agency effort in the united states but to a large degree because of what dhs does in its cybersecurity mission, i can't tell you but let me just say that the number of systems infected in our country were minuscule. we defended the country from the biggest cyber onslaught in history and we were successful in keeping it out of our country with the exception of a tiny, tiny, tiny number of computers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. frelinghuysen. before i go forward i've just been informed we're going to have multiple votes to be enough to take up an hour at 4:15 so we're going to have to limit to one question as we go forward. ms. lowey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i was
disappointed by the significant proposed cuts for fema preparedness grant programs. the uwasi program which helps the most at-risk urban areas such as new york prevent and prepare for terrorist attacks will be cut by 26% and the state homeland security grand program would be slashed by more than 25%. over all, the fy '18 budget proposes a cut of 918 million to fema grand programs that really help law enforcement prevent and respond to terrorism and other disasters. to put that into perspective you would cut vital funds to protect the top terror targets in the u.s. by 31%, which is equal to, roughly, half of what you're proposing to build a wall on the mexican border that is not needed. state and local jurisdictions
just cannot effectively plan for, establish and maintain their preparedness programs when support from their federal partner is inconsistent and subject to major deviations. mr. secretary, could you please share with us the impotence for proposing such drastic cuts to the grant programs, is it based on any sort of analysis that our states, major urban areas and other jurisdictions are well-prepared for terrorist threats without federal assistance? >> i would offer to you that in the 120 days, give or take, that i've had this job, i've visited a number of larger cities, new york, chicago, boston, mcallen, texas, a number of places, met
with the mayors, met with the police chiefs. i've been to a couple of very large police and sheriff, separate organizations that have met here in d.c. a couple of months ago, met with them, talked to them a lot. i interacted with the national governors association which was here in d.c., which was all of 48 of the governors. the point is, the state local men and women of law enforcement and the people that we work with, fema works with, are very very highly capable. you know, there was a time, i would offer, back before 9/11, we didn't think too much about it because terrorism had not really come to our country. many of these grants and initiatives of course we'll put into place immediately after that. the men and women of law enforcement locally and on the state level, with federal help have risen to to cahe occasion.
there are very type fema type people in the states and many cities have them. i wouldn't say that these funds are not very helpful for those states and localities, but i would offer that it isn't as grim as you describe in terms of taking them away. what i mean is, if we take away this money, which does -- the budget does some of that, their efforts against terrorism and against other aspects of, you know, disasters won't immediately collapse. so my offer would be that we were looking for money and we evaluated a number of different places, obviously, and we took where we thought we could take from, but, again, i'm absolutely confident that the men and women
out there have risen to to case over the last 15 years since 9/11 and are very very good at what they do. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask the question, mr. chairman. but i'm really surprised, mr. secretary, with great respect at your response. there's no question, for example, in new york city these people are capable and they're carrying out all of their activities with distinction. but i'll check with them, i haven't heard that they don't need that money and that that money isn't essential. when -- if new york is a target and it's beyond by comprehension that you could think it's okay to make those deep cuts, thank you. >> i didn't say they don't need the money. i just said that we've found places where we think that the funds are no longer needed in the way that they once were. >> okay. i will be happy to get back to you, but i would like that
response in writing and i will check the people who are responsible for these programs in new york and maybe have them document how essential these funds are. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. congressman. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank you for your service to our country in the marine corps and for your prudence -- for the president's prudence in being careful and spending our constituents very scarce and hard-earned tax dollars. i want to thank you you and the president for focusing on restoring the rule of law, which is one thing that unites us as americans. we understand that our liberty lies in law enforcement. that's a fundamentalal principle to who we are and we appreciate you focusing on that. i want to say, that congressman duncan hunter sr. spearheaded the effort to build a wall on the southern california border which has been working very
successfully and israelis know how effective a wall can be. makes sense in large points of the border. above all, we appreciate your focus on law enforcement. in existing law is very law, has been on the books since 1950s that an individual crossing the southern border is subject to up to six months imprisonment, on second offense they're subject to imprisonment up to two years. i want to bring your attention in the dell rio sector, my good friend are well acquainted with her. judge and border patrol in the dell rio sector with the support of the department of justice, they use their good hearts and their common sense in a compassionate way to ensure that existing law is enforced, uniformly and fairly and as a result before became --
president trump came into office and the promise of the enforcement of the law resulted in illegal crossings, judge moses, as i recall, henry, just enforcing law in the dell rio sector, they saw the lowest levels in illegal crossings since they began keeping records. you and i have worked together closely to support judge moses. i want to bring her to your attention, mr. secretary. the program she put in place is called operation streamline and encourage you to try to expand that. as chairman of science and appropriation subcommittee i'll do my part to help ensure the resources are focused there with additional prosecutors, u.s. marshals to make sure that folks are processed and handled in a way that protects everyone's due process rights and to ensure that people are handled expeditiously by immigration judges. we need to make sure they're
there on the border to handle people who come across and receive that notice to appear, which i believe, henry, they call those permiso. in previous administrations they got that notice to appear and they were gone, disappeared, never to show up again. so simply by enforcing the law, ensuring that people show up in front of the immigration judges or appear before a judge like judge moses up and down the boarder, you can have a dramatic effect on protecting our southern border and ensuring the free flow of legal goods. we all know we need that good relationship with mexico to have people cross back and forth legally and freely with goods and commerce and for workers. but you've got -- it begins with law enforcement. i wanted to ask you, mr. secretary, about operation streamline, if you're familiar with it and could you speak about what currently is happening under the trump administration in your
leadership if an individual is apprehended and when and how if dhs decided to give them removal proceedings before a judge like judge moses. >> i'm not -- and i will get smart on operation streamline and it sounds like i'll go down to dell rio and visit. >> she's doing a great job. >> one of the things, again, i've learned in this job, this immigration thing is the most complicated, i mean, if we try to make it any more complex and hard to understand, we could not have done it any better. but, all sorts of categories, right? >> right. >> they'll catch someone, say a mexican that comes across on our side of the border. >> she'll give them a week, you know. >> pretty quickly they can say, i don't want to enter the system and they can go right back home. one of the things we found, and, again, anecdote in talking to a cpb office, i think the second week i was in the job and walked
the dirt and the train and the river's edge with the real people that understand the illegal immigration drug movement and all of that to cpb officers, great men and women each. and they said, you know, sir, we will find -- we will stop traffickers, mexican traffickers on our side of the border. i've been here 14 years, i know the names of many of them because we'll pick them up and be with illegal aliens, the traffickers and they'll say, they'll opt to just simply go back to mexico. and then whether it's one month later or one year later, they catch them again and go back. one of the things we started doing is holding them and started process of prosecutoring them for human trafficking. the cost then of going from say el salvador to the united states, the fare, if you will to
travel on the network and get into the united states grew from an astro namical figure, good people, $4,000 life savings, incredible amount of money to them. now it's 12 or $15,000. they can't afford it. that's one of the factors -- that simple thing, starting to arrest and prosecute them. >> i want to be sure to mention, that also i learned from judge moses that she cannot seize the assets of even smugglers, that's a changing law we need to make. >> yes, sir. >> mr. chairman, thank you so much for this opportunity. mr. secretary, i want to say thank you for what you do, what your men and women do, i appreciate it. i'm from laredo, texas. i don't just visit and take off and think i know the border
better than some of the people. i live there all my life. i have to say i've seen secretaries come and go who probably see you come and go with respect. my only advice is understand the system that we're in. the branch and sometimes some of us might disagree with you. i don't think it's correct for you to tell members of congress to shut up. if we disagree, some of us might agree with you more than others. i'm just saying, otherwise it's going to be a long time -- a long term for you if you do that. i think you did that within 90 days after you got sworn in. i want to focus on the wall. i don't support the wall, for several reasons, one, private property rights. in texas we respect private property rights, it's dear to us. number two, the cost. the fence will be 6 and a half million dollars compared to $1 million of technology. i think mr. taylor who has been
in the military, there's a lot of technology that should work for us down there. that's number two. number three, environmental and international water commission. there's a treaty between the u.s. and mexico as to where you can put barriers and that's an issue we have to look at. 40% of the people that we have here are over stays. you can put the most beautiful wall that you want torks but they're going to either fly in, drive through a bridge or come through a boat. the report that came out, the homeland released two days ago, may 22nd, talks about over stays, over 40% of 11 or 12 are over stay. in fiscal year there were 630 visitors that failed, far exceeding the 415,000 that came in across the border. so moreover stays than people coming across or that were intercepted across the mexican
border. according to homeland, there were more canadians that over stayed than mexicans. i think your report says 120,000 canadians with expired visas are still believed to be living in the u.s. compared to 47,000 mexicans. and that's -- part of those stats are not correct or accurate because i think y'all only looked at plane and boat and didn't look at land crossings also. i think the visa stay should be one. the other thing, finally, number five, why i don't support the wall is natural barriers. i think president trump on april acknowledged that there are natural barriers to the border. if i can show you -- i support a wall. this is most beautiful wall that i supported, lou sill, is this big ben, have you seen the big ben, i mean, those are walls. if you want to see walls, those are walls that we have. i don't think you can come in and put another wall on top of this that we have, number one, i
think you would agree with me. second thing is if you go down to my lower part of the river, the rio grande which is a natural barrier doesn't go straight. it snakes up and down. this is my district down there and the u.s. side of it is in the top part, look at the river, the way it snakes, so either you follow and i've taken a small plane going just a few miles an hour flying over just snaking over and it's going to be very hard to put a fence, unless if you take private property rights that we have. so all i'm asking you is, you know, you work with the local border patrol, work with us and just say that we can't just use the fence. we know what happened to berlin wall and we know what happened to the chinese -- great wall of china, we know what happened to that.
we've got to be smart on how we secure the border. we spent $18 billion a year on border security call. you remember the last time you and i were together. -- 80 million compared to 18 billion. did you know that they actually stopped more people coming across than the whole border patrol did. so all i'm saying is, mr. secretary, we want to work with you. i know it's a very difficult job that you have, some of us have been living this for a long time. we want to see legitimate trade, tourism, not, you know, not impede that and we just want to work with you. so just to conclude, my time is up, some of us want to work with you and please take advantage of our expertise. >> can i just make a comment?
>> okay. >> two comments, really, since i've been in this job, everything that the congressman has said about the border and where to build it, where not to build it, there might be places we do it and other places we don't, i've been saying that since day one. >> yes, you have. >> what you said about the southern border, i mean, when i was on active duty helped the mexicans construct this border, the southern border strategy, helped them implement it under the radar quietly. it's worked very effectively. they stopped 160,000 illegal migrants last year. great partners. >> yes, sir. >> we stopped more than that last year, the point is southern strategy works. you've also heard me say that the one yard line stand day in and day out. the protection starts 1,500 miles south. i've said that repeatedly. everything you said about what
we should be doing, thinking about, i've been saying and thinking about for, you know, 120 days. my shut up comment, the one thing, with all do respect, that is different between certainly my experience in the u.s. military and my experience now is that the men and women of the u.s. military, you can throw rocks or criticize and god knows we deserve some criticism, senior military officers, you can criticize the policy of what they're trying to execute in the world. but the one thing that we never hear from certainly this institution is criticism of the ranking file, men and women that put their lives on the line in the u.s. military every day, you never hear that. in this job, all i heard day in and day out, nazis, troop tactics, prejudice about the men and women, the foot soldiers, if you will, that stand on our border or inside our country and protect it.
and i will just ask that they criticize me, criticize the trump policies, but please recognize that my men and women are doing the same kind of thing day in and day out as our military men and women are and in a sense give them a break. that's what the shut up comment was about. >> i need to respond quickly. let me just say this, nobody has attacked men and women. i think they're attacking the policy. i've been attacked also. you and i agree on a lot of things, whether you like this or not -- >> i'm sorry. >> i need you to understand, but but the folks that started, i'm going to try to keep this hearing going and you'll go and come back, i'll stay here you'll have somebody here to stay with me and the rest of you go vote, come back as soon as you can.
>> we're going to do one more, maybe get back to mr. price, maybe get to you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> they'll tell me it's an hour's worth of votes. we can't do that. okay. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. secretary, let me first start by saying thank you for your tremendous services and united states marine corps for stepping up now and being secretary at this most difficult time. i'm grateful for the job that you're doing, sir. i will limit my time to one question. like the rest of the federal government, cpb faces competing funding demands in a tight budget environment. much of congress and the administration focus has been on
physical infrastructure, staffing needs and emerging technologies like aerial drones. while i agree that these are vitals, dhs should not ignore proven effective technologies that safe and efficient flow of legitimate trade and travel across the border. what is dhs's plan, sir, to incorporate effective infant technologies into the border security plans. >> one of the things mr. trump said to me early on when we discussed what he -- his thoughts were relative to southwest border. he said, you know, kelly, the one thing we can't stop, if anything you can speed it up is normal movement of legal people in vehicles and what not, commercial movement north and south of the border. on the northern border, the canadians will say we need to thin the border, which is -- we don't have the same issues on the northern border. but the point is to take every opportunity to thin that
southern border. longer term plans are, build more capacity at the ports of entry. i had my science and technology people who are phenomenal. i've suggested a -- we have good technology down there now for vehicles to pass through so we can see inside them and see if there's people or drugs. what's the next generation and then let's skip that one and get to the next one. so i believe we can speed things up. it's fast now. millions of people back and forth every day with not so much as a slow down most of the time in their vehicles. there are certain indicators we look for, we look for drugs of people, some of that. it's an amazing amount of movement north and south legal movement to that border, so we're redoubling our efforts to look for ways to get even better at that, but at the same time stop more of the elicit movement of not only drugs of which is massive and i don't -- well,
drugs. but also working with the mexicans and we worked very closely with the -- i can't emphasize enough about how we can move items faster through the border. >> thank you, sir. and again let me reiterate my full support and i look forward to working with you, sir. >> thank you mr. secretary. >> i want to say i respect your career. i was on intel and i've watched you with you and general mattis being appointed and getting into this administration, i've been able to sleep better at night. i like to meet with you later on the issue of cyber security, port security, a lot of these different issues that we need to deal with, thank you. >> mr. price. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. secretary, welcome. glad to see you and i want to just say that i remember your previous career, our interaction and particular in 2014 and
guatemala and lightning conversation, particular the triangle countries should be, el salvador, guatemala and hondu s honduras, the source of so many unaccompanied children, mothers and so on. you made it very very clear that this was not mainly a challenge for border secure. you wrote a very-well regarded piece in military times that had a huge influence, i think, on this policy towards these countries. you said just recently, you can't have these goal line stands on the one foot line of the official points of entry. got to approach this problem in the countries of origin. you've been a major influence on that policy in that regard. it does, however, bring us to the wall. now, you wouldn't know it from president trump's rhetoric, but there are 700 miles of fencing already down there. i know about that because i was chairman of this subcommittee for many of the years when that
fence was constructed. and we required segment by segment analysis. we asked for environmental impact studies, we asked for comparison of fencing versus other kind of way of securing the border. we had a good deal of oversight. we also doubled the number of customs and border patrol cases. now, president trump has almost a fixation, it seems on this wall. and i wonder, is that really compatible with the idea of a layered defense that you, earlier, expressed. particularly, i wonder what kind of reaction you have to the foreign -- these countries we're talking about, el salvador, support in the economic support and development fund is cut by a third, 65 million down to 45. guatemala cut by a third, 112 million, down to 77 million.
honduras cut by a third, 93 million down to 67 million, what does that have to do with the kind of advocacy that you and others were very powerful in making about the need to enable those countries to control their gangs and to control their own security, but also to help their own people with all kind of needs that might enable people to stay in those countries. and then, finally, if we do move forward with this wall, i expect that we'll have more analysis than we have right now and i want you to confirm that. if you're talking act three segments, there's not much justification as to why that's the best alternative and how it compares to other alternatives, what kind of changes might be required, such as the levy fences we required, the changes in location we require. we need this kind of congressional interaction if we're going to move forward with this project. >> on the issue -- i'll start
with the south american countries. five years ago when i began my tour down in miami, the three countries -- the northern tier countries, central america, republic, were, in fact, the most dangerous countries on the planet. they had murder rates that were ast ast ast ast astro -- a lot of hands-on work with the u.s. military, u.s. southern command working with helping them get better. there's, particularly, a useful program inl within the department of state working with the police and still horrific murder rates, but cut by a third. we're talking about they were when columbia was in working towards a miracle that's columbia today. so the point is, the money has been very very helpful.
the contact has been very very helpful. one of the things we're doing is not only messaging through the political leaders in central america to convince their citizens not to make that horribly dangerous journey up, we, the energy behind it have organized the major conference in miami, cosponsored with mexico with bringing in canada, costa rica, panama, spain, the eu, most importantly in the region, columbia and it will be the president -- vice president, rather, will spend the first prosperity date. commerce will come down. the point is, to accelerate the private investment into their countries they're ready for that. and the second day will be homeland security will run. so, we are, in fact, still -- i am still focused on that country. of course, that region -- of course most of their problems
involve around our drug use in the united states, they enjoy that problem and make that point all the time. on the wall, where there is physical barrier, it works. i acknowledged the fact that don't live on the border, but i will also tell you that when i visit the border, i talk to every trip down there, i talked to the cbp people, the local law enforcement, the local business community and the local mayors, el paso and other places. i get down there and i talk to them. the number one concern is free flow of commerce. the police like what we're doing and the partnership they have with cbp and they have a great partnership on the other side. where we have physical barrier, it works. where there are places that -- whether it's environmental reasons why, watershed reasons,
whatever, this places where it's unlikely we'll ever need a wall. as far as the kind of wall, you mentioned the levy wall down in texas. that's a place where a concrete structure would make sense. as you know, there's already concrete wall down there that's reinforcing the levy system. that's good for the south texas. there's other places, frankly. i know i don't live on the border but i do talk to people who work this issue with the border both local law enforcement and they've told me what they want. they want to see-through wall that they can see on the other side what's going and just as importantly to them, i haven't ever thought of this, so that the mexicans can see them on the other side to understand that the wall, the barrier is also backed up with the great men and women of cbp. what we're doing right now is looking specifically at where we
think, where cbp and local law enforcement thinks they need additional physical barrier. we're running a competition right now that are not involved in because of contractual issues, running a competition of what that physical barrier. it may be concrete wall in someplace, and frankly, it may be no physical barrier at all in other places. we'll certainly keep the congress involved, sir. >> mr. secretary, thank you, your reputation is impeccable, that's why you're the longest serving secretary. i agree with my colleague from maryland, look forward to working with you.
first of all, i agree with the ranking member a lot of things, i disagree with her not taking the border wall seriously. you're on the front line of our war on drugs right now, the greatest killer of young americans right now is heroin. 90% of it crosses our southern border. if you say will deny smuggling organizations where you plan to build it this fiscal year's allocations, i support it and take it seriously. with regard to just briefly sanctuary cities, you know, i've got all kind of people playing politics with this, local officials who think -- pretend they can write immigration law, they can't. they should help the federal agencies enforce it. i'm glad that a rewrite of us 873 c is in the president's proposal. the ominous bill gave you authority to adjust the h 2 b caps and to adjust them,
basically, to where we would bring it to a level that would allow the returning workers to not count under it. i urge you to the businesses in my business are desperate. we need it for various industries. i urge you to expedite that if you can and i yield back. >> mr. harris yields back. i'm sitting in for the chairman for a minute. i'm going to make my question real quick and we'll hopefully get to congressman taylor. mr. secretary, i believe and i hope you agree protects our capability from being hauled out by foreign subsidies and cheap labor. it keeps the maritime industry strong. i want to ask you about department's compliance with the prohibition contained in the jones' act, by foreign workers, flying a foreign flag, from transporting merchandise between points in the u.s. i was extremely disappoint today see cbp recently with drew a proposal to revoke and modify a
number of the letter rulings concerning the transportation of merchandise on the outer continental shell as cbp itself has publicly admitted or inconsistent with the statute. that was through this effort of revoking the old letter ruling attempting to get back into compliance with the law and now has stalled out. >> can you tell us when they'll revoke these letter rulings and start enforcing the law. >> the ber two career at the time came in and gave me a brief run down on this and there were three options, yes, no, and study it. generally speaking when someone says we need to study this a little bit more, that, in my mind, kick the can down the road
kind of tactic. i address that with the team and and -- and i said what is best right now for america, to make these decisions relative to, you know, foreign flag, u.s. flag, and they said, the best thing right now is for us to -- it's so complicated and has wide ranging impacts, the best thing to do is to do a comprehensive study and that's the direction we're in. >> you have to choose america first, and with that, i will -- i'm done asking my questions and i'll open it up to congressman taylor. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you mr. secretary for being here. i appreciate your service before and now, of course, i know you have a very difficult job. i'll make a couple of statements right quick and i'll submit some questions. i want to foot stomp on what dr. harris said about the visas,
same thing in our area. >> that's one thing, the other thing i'm not sure if you're aware or not, customs and border patrol and others in the department of homeland security are actually manufacturing in el salvador and honduras which is incredible to me. obviously, the facilities with limited security, potentially. but we want to see those here for u.s. workers and that text tile industry to benefit us and for national security as well. commercial off the shelf technology, do you face acquisition hurdles in being able to get off the shelf technology that's best benefits
you. >> i haven't to date. i mean, certainly, by direction is to the department right now is before we embark on any science projects to invent some new technology, let's look on the shelf, first. so long as we need it and have the money and the acquisition process is adhered to. to the best of my knowledge we're not having any problem acquiring things off the shelf. >> now, that i have you here, on the cyber and other -- your command center and excellent work, obviously, protecting our homeland. quick question on that, do you -- are you sharing between agencies and outside of dhs as well to establish patterns for potential attribution to where those attacks are coming from and best practices. is that something that's actively happening, are we sharing between agencies. >> it's virtually automatic. >> it's automatic.
i can't get out of my mind seeing a buddy of mine killed and i paid for pictures or photos. i'm wondering what it must be like. >> for more on the schedule go to booktv.org. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 season was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> nina olson, national taxpayer advocate, talked about customer service at the irs and the agency's efforts to prevent